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June 29, 2005

Social Security: Round 2?

Well this is fairly surprising. House Republicans are vowing to vote on Social Security before the year is through:

House Republican leaders pledged to seek a vote this year on legislation creating a scaled back version of President Bush's call for personal retirement accounts under Social Security.
...
Republicans said the measure would create personal accounts for younger workers, and some of the funds would be used to replace part of their traditional benefit. At the same time, they added, the accounts could be inherited under some circumstances.

The program would also raise the government's official deficit estimates by as much as $1 trillion over a decade, a development that could increase pressure on lawmakers to cut spending or raise taxes in the future.

The strategy here is a bit surprising, House Republicans, so far as I can tell, are self-BTU'ing themselves. The Senate's not likely to pass this bill, and if they don't, each and every Republican congressperson voting "aye" has to go and explain it to their districts in 2006, and do so with no program to show for their troubles. Peculiar.

Nevertheless, this argues powerfully against defunding and disbanding Americans United to Protect Social Security. If the Republicans don't think the fight's over, then it's not. And if the fight's not over, we shouldn't be disarming.

June 29, 2005 in Social Security | Permalink

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House Republican leaders promised yesterday to hold a vote as early as this summer on adding person [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 30, 2005 7:28:22 AM

Comments

This is just another GOPer plot to dig deeper into the public pockets. Have they proposed anything which actually worked except to enrich the lucky few? S&L? A disaster for which the public is still paying. Energy deregulation? Can you say "Enron"? Accounting reform? Errr... Arthur Anderson, Global Crossing and the list goes on.

The real reason the GOP hates Social Security so much is that it forces the employer to do what is really the responsible thing and contribute to their employees retirement. Acting responsibly, unless it can be shown on the bottom line, is not in the Repugs playbook. This latest ruse is the national equivalent of United's bailout (only the lastest) on their pensions.

Posted by: stumpy | Jun 29, 2005 4:14:14 PM

I have been wondering if between Stem Cells, the Patriot Act vote, and I think one more where DeLay lost, that these were intentional losses. You know, something to give those poor beleagured moderate House Republicans a vote or two that made them look moderate.

You could imagine that the self-BTU on Social Security would be the same thing. I think they might even be able to squeeze 218 votes together while still letting a few moderates off the hook to vote against the bill. But, perhaps not.

Posted by: Electoral Math | Jun 29, 2005 4:18:06 PM

I linked to your blog.

Posted by: Peter Westre | Jun 29, 2005 6:41:46 PM

I just had a look at the top US leftwing bloggers and not a one of them have even noticed the country they share a border with legalized same-sex marriage last night. Don't you think that reveals a big problem with the American left's mindset?

Posted by: Robert McClelland | Jun 29, 2005 8:27:44 PM

I think we will be surprised (of the negative sort) when Bill Thomas finally reveals his omnibus 'retirement' overhaul - which will include Social Security changes, but much more. This is not to mention the absurd plans to pay for private accounts by dedicating the short term Social Security surpluses to private accounts rather than supporting general government spending - thus reducing the buildup on of the trust fund and bringing closer the day when the trust fund is gone.

All of it will likely be in the spirit of reverse robin hood. We will need to oil and polish the heavy armor to resist some monstrousities. Thomas aims to split the Dem ranks with some sweeteners of some kind.

The latest word is that the House hopes to take this up in JULY when everyone is out playing and therefore won't pay attention to the atrocities being done on them for the future.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jun 29, 2005 8:39:20 PM

I just had a look at the top US leftwing bloggers and not a one of them have even noticed the country they share a border with legalized same-sex marriage last night. Don't you think that reveals a big problem with the American left's mindset?

In what way?

a) We actually think that's just fine, and good on the Canadians, because it was the right thing to do?

b) Although we think it's just fine and good on the Canadians, there's so much other bad stuff going on here that we're trying to deal with that, rather than spend time on a plainly good thing in Canada, a country in which we neither live nor vote?

Posted by: paperwight | Jun 29, 2005 8:52:58 PM

I think the House is demonstrating just how full of itself it truely is.

The Republicans previously have had reasonable success when they push forward on things that a lot of the country doesn't want. But they've recently overreached on several key issues (Schiavo, judicial "activism", etc). In my view, this is another of those overreaches.

I concur that the pushback against their Social Security changes should continue. More importantly however, we need to continue to ADVERTISE what they're doing. The more people know about the specifics, the less they like it. And it goes on the list of GOP overreach that is tightening their noose.

Posted by: carla | Jun 29, 2005 9:59:36 PM

The latest Repug proposal for SS is a clever ruse from several angles. By limiting the diversion into personal accounts of just the surplus part of the payroll tax revenues, they can claim to (1) avoid any need to borrow funds to make up for a shortfall in benefits (2) realize the "lock box" effect for SS savings that Al Gore talked about in the 2000 campaign. Trouble is that the surplus will end in 2017 and the diversion will reduce the trust fund's ultimate size under current expectations. Anticipating this, the Repugs admit this is only a ruse to get an agreement on personal accounts and with once this point is past, the momentum will be in favor of expanding personal accounts by diverting more into the personal accounts from payroll taxes after 2017. This is just another way of overcoming the stubborn opposition to personal accounts by the Democrats.

Posted by: Ralph | Jun 29, 2005 10:50:03 PM

"Trouble is that the surplus will end in 2017 and the diversion will reduce the trust fund's ultimate size under current expectations."

"will end" and "current expectations". A little dichotomy between the apparent certainty in the "will" and the latent uncertainty in both the "current" and "expectations".

I don't disagree with the thrust of your argument, but you are conceding way too much on the solvency question. The surplus will not end in 2017 because no one can present honest numbers that suggest it will. Discussions aplenty on the Economists' sites. Bottom line - the numbers used to produce 2017 will not happen. Indeed in light of the AP report on economic growth this morning 2017 cannot happen.

The buzz word that will pervade discussion on this topic in the sixth months going forward: "productivity". Its like a sap tucked in the back pocket of supporters of Social Security. Privatizers will never know what hit them. And supporters will wonder why they have been so defensive.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Jun 30, 2005 5:11:32 AM

Anyone who uses epithets such as "Repugs" loses credibility from the start. Oh, I know those on the right have these too such as "DemocrRats", "Dims", etc., and the same goes for them as well.

Although I choose a more conservative path than most here on this board, I do not use these much. It would make me look as much of an idiot as it does Ralph.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jun 30, 2005 10:43:45 AM

You can look like an idiot all on your own when you refer to Amanda as being a 'man-hater'.

Posted by: Laura Bush | Jul 2, 2005 9:44:32 PM

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 9:03:24 PM

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